Saturday, December 17, 2011
Freed – but they’re still in prison
Freed – but they’re still in prison
December 17 2011 at 08:46am
Reinach Tiedt. Picture: Liza van Deventer.
There was high drama yesterday as lawyers and Department of Correctional Services (DSC) officials tussled over two of the so-called Waterkloof Four.
Nothing could get them released; two court orders, a contempt of court order against two senior DCS officials ordering their imprisonment, and the presence of a burly police officer at Zonderwater Prison could not free Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt.
Families of the two, who were due to be released on Thursday, waited until last night in Cullinan while their lawyer Jenny Brewers, flanked by senior officials of the Cullinan Police Station, tried in vain to execute the second court order in two days ordering their immediate release from prison.
After a wait of several hours in Cullinan, Reinach’s father Chris Tiedt received a call from the lawyer saying she and the police could not even enter the prison complex. A despondent Tiedt said they would return home once more without the men.
“We will return to court on Monday to hold them (correctional services) further in contempt,” he said.
Yesterday Judge Eben Jordaan, who issued an urgent court order for the immediate release of the two, sentenced two senior Zonderwater prison officials to a month in jail for ignoring Thursday’s Regional Court order for the pair’s immediate release. The two will have to explain to him on January 24 why he shouldn’t jail them.
Gert van Schalkwyk. Picture: Liza van Deventer.
The DCS did not turn up yesterday at court, even though officials had been repeatedly told about the application.
Yesterday, the judge said: “I thought that I had seen everything in my old age. But it clearly appears that I have not.”
Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt’s advocate, Jaap Cilliers SC, said the officials’ conduct was “shocking”
. - Zelda Venter
Waterkloof parole unlawful: DA
Sapa | 16 December, 2011 12:34
Gert van Schalkwyk, Christoff Becker and Reinach Tiedt, three of the four former Hoerskool Waterkloof pupils accused of assaulting one man and murdering another. File photo.
Image by: Marianne Pretorius © Sunday Times
The decision to grant parole to two of the "Waterkloof Four" is unlawful and must be appealed, the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.
Two of Waterkloof Four still in jail despite being granted bail DA MP James Selfe said the decision to release the two and place them under house was made after the chairman of the Zonderwater parole board was told by the department of correctional services that the recommendation was unlawful.
"In terms of a previous court decision, conversions of sentences can only occur if an inmate has less than five years remaining of his or her sentence, " Selfe said.
"Both the recommendation of the parole board and the decision of the [Pretoria Regional] Court, were therefore wrong and should be set aside."
Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt were scheduled to be released from Zonderwater Prison after being granted parole on Thursday.
Department of correctional services spokesman Zacharia Modise confirmed on Friday, that the Pretoria Regional Court had granted the two parole, but they still remained in jail.
"The department will study the ruling, and in due course we will let our decision on it be known," Modise said.
Selfe said he had spoken to department, who assured him its legal advisors were studying the court's judgement with a view to appeal it.
"Those board members who voted for the decision ought to be held personally liable for the legal costs of the appeal," he said.
Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk were among a group of four boys convicted of killing a homeless man and assaulting another at a park in Pretoria in 2001. They were each sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Reports on Friday suggested that the legal representatives for all four were filing an urgent high court appeal for their release, but Modise said he was not aware of the appeal.
Selfe said the other two members of the "Waterklook Four", Christoff Bekker and Frikkie du Preez, also needed their sentences converted, if the ruling were to go through.
" If a group of offenders are sentenced for the same crime and given the same sentence, all of them qualify for conversion of sentence at the same time," Selfe said.
"The two remaining offenders... are now in legal limb... they ought to have been considered at the same time as the other two. It's a legal mess."
On Thursday, Van Schalkwyk's stepfather, Jimmy Stonehouse, said he was not aware if Bekker and Du Preez would also be placed under house arrest.
"They are being kept in a separate prison, so I don't know what the situation with them is."
Waterkloof-four wrongfully imprisoned…
i 25 Votes
N.B. Download links fixed!
NEW: The victim may have received medical attention (click here!)
NUUT: Verslag oor skokkende regspleging in hierdie saak nou ook in Afrikaans beskikbaar (kliek hier!)
For some time now I have been trying to get to the bottom of a politically charged and highly publicised case that was “concluded” towards the end of 2008. This case was followed by just about everybody and the unity among the sheeple was epic.
The case that I am referring to is none other than the infamous Waterkloof-Four sensation. The case has become a bit of a go-to reference for the decay of our youth, but the fact is that this story has never been told accurately and it is definitely far from over. The blatant abuse of justice and the now apparent corruption must be exposed for all to see. I have followed this case from inception and I have probably read every piece of print as well as every shred of official court document relating to this case and the funny thing is that they are almost irreconcilable.
There is no doubt that everybody has an opinion about this case and although we probably can expect some fanatical responses and the typical self-justifications, I believe that you would do yourself a great disservice if you do not at least read the summary of the facts that I allude to. It would not be realistic to discuss all the blatant errors made by Magistrate Len Kotze, but the full analysis of his judgement can be found here. The original court documents are available to anybody would like to read them and I defy anybody to prove me wrong. Up to this moment not even the judges involved has managed this.
The truth is that this case was an awe-inspiring victory for the media. The media blinded an entire nation whilst the judges delivered one the most shocking judgements of their careers. How many facts did you really read about? We know exactly what they wore at any time and there were references to their perfume, hairdos and white shoes. We know they were “arrogant” even though they never said a thing. Yet we do not know what really transpired that fateful night. If you think about it: what we “know” is nothing more than implied images, skilfully created by sensation-hungry reporters knowledgeable of the fact that truth does not sell. One thing is undeniable: the media managed to unite a nation, across more denominations than I care to list, in the condemnation of four youngsters we knew nothing about.
In summary, they were convicted of two counts of assault and one of premeditated murder. They did admit to assaulting an unknown man in a park in Moreletta Park, but they vehemently denied the first assault as well as the murder. In my report I show that the first assault probably never happened on the night in question and to be truthful the State prosecutor admits that much at the end of his examination of this incident. If indeed it did take place it happened on another night and could not, in all likelihood, have included the same group of people. It might surprise you to realise that there were at least ten people involved that night, but this specific grouping of people is unique in time. Even the “W4 gang” was a unique grouping that night.
Once the first assault is knocked out then this entire case becomes suspicious to say the least. Without the first assault the “murder” would have to be downgraded to an opportunistic version of manslaughter and that would have meant that the State could not make an example of these individuals. I do realise that we love to hate people that seem to be better off than ourselves, but you have to keep the consequences of a corrupt judiciary in mind when looking at the facts. Thanks to Hlophe and Zuma we are already starting to see the effects loud and clear.
The individuals did assault the victim and it is entirely conceivable that a person could die from such an assault, but to prove that we have to scrutinise the physical evidence very carefully. The body used as the “murder victim” was in pristine condition barring a gaping wound on the back of his leg. The post mortem report of the victim indicated no other serious wounds other than the gaping hole in the back of his leg. Cause of death was blood loss over an extended time. No bruising, no broken bones, no blood from the nose or ears, no broken skin, no dirt or grass indicative of a struggle on his face or body, no broken teeth and the tiniest amount of blood on the scene.
Two specialists indicated that a person of similar build as the victim would have to lose 5-6 pints of blood to bleed to death. More than 3 litres of blood is a lot of blood to mysteriously disappear. The direction of blood flow on the victim’s body as shown in some of the crime scene photos also seem to indicate that the body may have been moved after death. This is significant because the State witnesses testified that the position that the police found the body in, is exactly the same as it was left the previous night after the assault. If we consider that someone did move the victim to the park after his death, it could explain the absence of blood at the apparent crime scene but then raises more questions for this case. All this is handled extensively in my report. This is merely one indication that the learned magistrate did not remove all possibilities in his findings and as such could not have proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The conundrum is that the sentence was based on the intentional and brutal murder of a homeless individual, but there is absolutely no indication of either of the chosen pillars of this sentence. As for the “homeless” individual, you should know that this supposedly derelict individual was dressed in good quality clothing with expensive athletic shoes. He had a wallet on him with money in it. He was in generally good condition prior to his death. The police also found stolen objects around him that were positively linked to a house robbery a significant distance away from the park where he was found. One of the medical experts in the case did testify that the wound on the victim looked more like a wound made by falling on a palisade fence and the property where the items next to him were stolen did have just such a fence. This is a clear example of how the media manipulated people’s emotions to steer attention away from the travesty taking place under our noses.
So what does this mean then? There are many unanswered questions about the events of that night, but if we are to assume a fair and independent judiciary then the four young men implicated could not have been convicted of any of the charges brought against them. However, the true mystery is how this case traversed four levels of court and why these learned judges refuse to answer my questions? The only judge to respond was Judge President Bernard Ngoepe who condescendingly claimed that it is irrelevant if judges are wrong (see fax). No legal professional wants to touch this case and so far academics are too scared to open Pandora’s Box. Do we really know what goes on in the halls of our respected, honourable and trusted judiciary?
Should you be interested, I can provide all documentation on a disc if you leave a comment to that nature. This would include all documentation entered into court, judgements, photos and correspondence with the JSC and various other organisations that chose to ignore this corruption.
The Waterkloof four victim may have received medical attentionLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this post.
Tags: 2010, anc, Appeal, Christoff Becker, Constitutional, corrupt, corruption, Frikkie du Preez, Gert van Schalkwyk, High, hlophe, injustice, JSC, judges, judiciary, Magistrate, politics, prison, Proudly South African, Reinach Tiedt, South Africa, w4, waterkloof 4, waterkloof four
This entry was posted on 17 June 2009 at 14:03 and is filed under politics, Waterkloof-four. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
The Waterkloof four victim may have received medical attention
i 3 Votes
ALSO: Waterkloof 4 wrongfully imprisoned (Click here)
I recently came into possession of a rather interesting document regarding the Waterkloof four case. Because of all the personal opinions and possible ulterior motives of certain people involved, I decided to focus purely on the court proceedings and the facts and arguments entered into the record when I initially investigated this travesty. As detailed in my report the court records were more than enough to show that there is no legal or intellectual way to convict the four youngsters of any of the charges brought against them.
However, if you care to delve into the story that transpired before the court drama the ridiculous nature of this case quickly becomes apparent. Even though the defence team were convinced that the State had the wrong body, nothing worth mentioning was ever done to actually investigate the matter. When the NPA was given the instruction to prosecute based on the stories told by the von Lansberg brothers, a search was done for a body in the area and time frame of the attack. When a body was found, all investigations stopped and the case was brought to court even though the injuries on the body did not match the description of the assault. Nobody cared to check hospital admissions or if they did it was not deemed helpful in destroying the four youngsters involved.
The closest state hospital to where the incident took place was Mamelodi Hospital and would have been well within reach of the park. The document in this article is a copy of the admission sheet for the morning after the assault took place and shows at least three possible candidates. One person in particular stood out and on further investigation it seems as if the person gave the wrong address. The individual currently living at the specified address claims to have done so for a long time and apparently does not know the name at all. The name of the person in question is Peter Maseko and if anybody knows a person by that name that was assaulted during the end of November or early in December 2001, I would really like to speak to him regarding his injuries.
Mamelodi Hospital admission sheet
This might be nothing and there are other avenues that we are looking at, but the point is that the court did not remove all other reasonable possibilities and somehow the seemingly obvious areas were not investigated properly. Why would this be? People keep telling me (off the record of course) that this is a very sensitive case without offering any qualification for such a statement. Could it be sensitive because, once again, it was a monumental screw-up from the investigation right through to the trial and sentencing. That is becoming such a cliché that it is almost understandable that the people of South Africa can not see the problem with this case.
Maybe there is some truth in a few of the conspiracy theories floating around about this case and the conviction really was massaged into place for what ever reason. Well, massage might be too soft a word given that the logic, or more accurately the lack thereof, demonstrated by Magistrate Kotze was quite brutal and thoroughly suspect at times. The judgement by Seriti and Ebersohn in support of Kotze was nothing short of criminally stupid and I still can not believe that a legal professional can get away with such nonsense.
Anyway, the fact remains that the courts and/or investigators did not remove all reasonable possibilities and they definitively ignored serious contradicting evidence. So, if the unfortunate individual that was beaten up on that fateful night did not die from some other unrelated cause, he is still out there and we are looking for him…